From: "Laurence B. Oeth III" <viacalx(--nospam--at)europa.com>
Date: Wed, 16 Jun 1999 21:55:05 -0500
> It happened to come up in conversation with an engineer I ran into that he
> was a Lurker on our SEAINT List. He was interested in the conversations that
> have been taking place regarding the new 1997 Code changes related to Rigid
> Diaphragm Analysis and to the discussions related to FEMA 273.
> The gentleman told me that he appreciated all of the discussions that were
> taking place and complimented me on making the List available for intellegent
> discussion. He indicated that supported a popular view of the members of the
> list. I asked why he did not participate in the discussion and he replied
> that he could not add to what had been well stated.
> As much as I appreciate the compliments (and I'm sure I speak for all of us
> who are participating in this Thread), this "lurker" has an opinion that is
> not "counted" and may be counterproductive to the goals that those who are
> passionate enough to speak out expect to achieve. It isn't so much to agree
> or disagree as to have your opinion tabulated by those in a position to make
> We live a political society where the number of voices often speaks louder
> than the issues. SEA chairpersons and board members are inclined to identify
> the volume of input over the relevancy of the argument. Most want to know how
> strong is the following for any issue debated. This is not to say that the
> validity of the argument is less important, but that we live in a society
> that moves with the masses.
> I can't be more clear than to simply say "If you agree or disagree you need
> to state it so that those in a position to make change can see strength in
> Consider that there are 15,000 subsribers on this list (Shafat's latest
> tally). Less than one hundred regularly voice their opinions. That is less
> than 1% of the total subscribers. What if SEAINT believed that we should shut
> the List down because only 0.75% of the subscribers utilize the services and
> little change is occuring in our profession? Would this motivate you to
> speak up and say "Hey, I'm here and interested?"
> Appreciation of the services does not justify its existence. Using the
> service to constitute change for the better, to open up channels of
> information, to solve problems for the sake of the public and to maintain the
> ethics of safe buildings through structural engineering is what this service
> is all about. The service does nothing - the subscribers do everything. 0.75%
> of the total voice is barely a whisper and requires a lot more shouting by a
> few than the whispers of 15,000 voices.
> I disagree with any of you that feel that your opinion or support does not
> count. I beg each of you to simply submit your support or rejection of a
> topic - preferably with some comment but acceptable without - so that we can
> start training every professional organizations that services the building
> industry to recognize the direction and the strength of the voices they
> Please spend a moment to show solidarity to the opinions that you strongly
> agree with for the sake of our future. The SEAINT structural engineering
> Virtual Community has more "members" than almost all of the SEA chapters in
> the World - think about it for a moment. Your here and now. You get the news
> and have a chance to respond. There is no more convenient way to participate
> in the workings of the Structural Engineering Profession than with a short
> E-mail expressing your support or rejection of an opinion.
> Dennis S. Wish PE
> Editor SEAINT Online
I support the list. I also shudder at the amount of time it would take
me to sort through the email if 5% of your list wast truly active!
Don't change anything at this time. Expel any bean counters who would
consider closing the list due to faulty measurement of interest. Or,
perhaps, recommend they provide volunteer services with one of the major
code formulating bodies....